3 railway staff suspended for tampering muster

Southern railway (SR) has suspended three staff, including a commercial supervisor in Chennai Division, for their alleged involvement in muster tampering scam unearthed by DTNext in October last.
File photo of passengers waiting in front of a counter
File photo of passengers waiting in front of a counter

Chennai

Orders to suspend commercial supervisor P R Sarangapani, who is also the division president of SRMU, clerks Sasikala and Hemalatha were issued on Friday. 
Senior SR sources, who confirmed that the suspension was related to muster tampering, told this paper that the suspension orders have been sent to Kotturpuram station where Sasikala works as booking clerk and the outward parcel office at Central where the other two have been posted. Originally, the trio had worked together at the transhipment office in Chennai Central where they had allegedly indulged in large scale muster tampering to cover up their regular absence from work, which was exposed with documentary evidence by this paper on October 1, 2016.  
The transhipment office was shut immediately and the trio were reassigned following the unearthing of the scam. While Sasikala was posted at Kotturpuram, the two seniors managed to stay back at Central station, precisely, the old TP office, by merely getting themselves attached to the outward parcel office. 
A senior SR source who attributed the delay to examination of evidence said, “It is an executive order and hence it was not necessary to serve the order to the suspended employees. Suspension has been ordered based on prima facie evidence indicating their involvement in muster tampering. Their continuation at office would affect the ongoing probe into the attendance scam and hence the suspension.” 
It has also been learnt that authorities had issued the ‘marching’ orders on receipt of a report from a forensic laboratory in Hyderabad which had examined the documents and conclusively established that musters were tampered. The forensic report was received in the second week of this month. Meanwhile, the suspended members were learnt to have urged general manager Vashista Johri on Saturday (through their union) to revoke the suspension and issue standard forms (SF) and start the inquiry.
Incidentally, the suspension comes a day after the Divisional railway manager Anupam Sharma had chaired the PNM (permanent negotiating machinery) meeting which turned ugly with a few union members allegedly threatening a senior officer.

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